While I don’t have strong privacy concerns, I do worry about the effects of the scans on the human body, particularly on frequent travelers who undergo multiple scans. So are these mandatory “accept the scan or don’t fly” policies in the first world’s most developed surveillance state, Great Britain, a reasonable response to the underpants bomber? This report is from the Daily Mail:
Air passengers who refuse to submit to controversial full body scans will be barred from boarding their flights.
The technology – which has been strongly condemned by civil liberties campaigners – began operating at Heathrow and Manchester airports yesterday. Birmingham will follow suit later this month before the anti-terror devices are rolled out nationally.
The move – strongly criticised by civil liberties campaigners who say the scanners are an invasion of privacy – follows the attempted Detroit bomb attack on Christmas Day. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to detonate a bomb on a flight as it was about to land in the U.S. city.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said: ‘In the immediate future, only a small proportion of airline passengers will be selected for scanning. If a passenger is selected for scanning and declines, they will not be permitted to fly.’
He said a code of conduct would govern how images were used and which passengers were checked. Campaigners say the scanners, which act like a mini radar device ‘seeing’ beneath ordinary clothing, are an invasion of privacy. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned that the scanners breach privacy rules under the Human Rights Act for their naked images. The exemption of under 18s from being scanned, which was in place during the trial of the machines in Manchester, has also been removed…
[continues in the Daily Mail]